The Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority (FCRA) Board of Trustees voted to name Janet Gabrey, director of finance, the temporary office manager until a new executive director is named.
The board announced Tuesday (Feb. 26) that Ivy Owen will no longer serve as executive director of the authority. The board voted in an executive session Thursday (Feb. 21) that Owen was no longer able to fulfill his responsibilities due to health issues and because of that he would no longer be employed by FCRA.
“This decision was not made lightly. The trustees took all factors into account before voting. We all wish him the best and hope he will enjoy a full recovery in the future,” said Dean Gibson, board chairman. “The trust believed Ivy’s health had become an issue that kept him from doing the job we needed him to do.”
The board decided in a special meeting Thursday (Feb. 28) that the office needed someone who could make final decisions on office matters and other issues as needed, and voted to put Gabrey in that position.
The board also voted for the personnel committee to meet March 5 in order to draft a job description and advertisement for an interim executive director to serve until such a time the board can hire a full-time executive director.
The board voted to give the committee the authority to publish the description and ads after they meet without the need to go before the full board for approval. The board agreed FCRA needed an interim director to take over as soon as possible to be the face of the authority and get things back on track.
“In actuality, there hasn’t been someone doing this job really for the past nine months,” ERC Chairman Rod Coleman said when the board asked if any of those at the meeting not on the board had an opinion on the need for an interim director. ERC Holding LLC has a strong presence in Chaffee Crossing.
“We need to get the buzz going out here again,” he added. “This is probably the most influential of two or three drivers in this city that will make a change in the next five years. Do not take someone who wants to just sit in here and babysit all of us developers. … What you do here will affect all of us forever.”